Jordan imposes strict 4-day curfew after citizens ignore virus warnings

A Jordanian policeman stands guard in front of Al-Husseini Mosque in Amman on Friday after closing it to worshipers amid concerns over the coronavirus disease spread. (Reuters)
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Updated 21 March 2020

Jordan imposes strict 4-day curfew after citizens ignore virus warnings

  • Military vehicles stationed on streets to enforce, provide medical care and emergency assistance
  • Jordan’s army sealed off the capital from the rest of the country on Thursday to put its 10 million people on lockdown

AMMAN: Jordan will impose a strict curfew from 7 a.m. on Saturday until Tuesday, March 24 after citizens ignored government warnings over the coronavirus outbreak to stay at home.

Prime Minister Omar Razzaz’s order followed his declaration of martial law in the country on March 18.
Col. Basheer Al-Daaja, former spokesman for the Jordanian police, told Arab News that the premier’s curfew decision should have come as no surprise.
“The prime minister had warned that if undisciplined people would not stay home, he would be obliged to use his authority and place the country under lockdown.
“This curfew applies to persons walking or in their vehicles and means that many important private and public institutions will not be guarded. I expect that the security forces will be deploying troops to guard these locations,” he said.
The Jordanian army would be unlikely to show any tolerance toward anyone violating the curfew, the colonel added.
On Friday, military vehicles were being stationed on streets to enforce the lockdown and provide medical care and emergency assistance where needed.
Amman resident Mohammed Abu Safieh told Arab News that grocery shops and bakeries in the east of the capital were packed on Friday evening as residents flocked to buy supplies. “This caused massive crowding which in itself defeats the idea of social distancing,” he said.

FASTFACT

The round-the-clock curfew will be in force until further notice to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus in Jordan, the government announced.

Jordanian security experts said that the pre-curfew rush had mostly involved people who had failed to heed government warnings about virus measures over recent days.
Razzaz said a crisis committee established on Jan. 24, had taken 132 decisions aimed at protecting Jordanians from the coronavirus outbreak which has so far infected 69 people in the country.
Amjad Adaileh, Jordan’s minister for media affairs, said that 4,892 people who had recently arrived in the country from abroad were under mandatory 14-day quarantine in 34 hotels in Amman and around the Dead Sea coast.
Adnan Abu Odeh, adviser to the late King Hussein and King Abdullah II, praised Razzaz and the Jordanian leadership for their handling of the ongoing crisis.
“Prime Minister Razzaz has done the logical work that should be done in such a circumstance. He and his team have followed the WHO (World Health Organization) protocols very closely. So far so good,” he said.
In an address to Jordanians, Razzaz said: “If the government errs, we will have the courage to make the needed corrections.”


Dubai clarifies rules on wearing face masks in public

Updated 48 min 27 sec ago

Dubai clarifies rules on wearing face masks in public

  • The clarification comes as Dubai eases public mobility restrictions and allowing businesses to resume operation

DUBAI: Children under the age of the six, the disabled, and those who have respiratory problems are exempt from wearing face masks in public areas, Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management has clarified.

The new guidelines come as Dubai returns to normal life – easing public mobility restrictions and allowing businesses to resume operation.

People are allowed to temporarily remove their masks if they are driving alone or with family members, according to the new guideline, adding those who are eating or drinking, and engaging in exercise or medical treatments are also permitted to remove their masks.